James Franco delivers one of the most surprising and heartfelt films of the entire year with The Disaster Artist – a film that follows the real life story of the making of the 2003 cult hit disaster The Room, directed by Tommy Wiseau.
A man named Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) is an aspiring actor. He frequently acts in various theatre productions, but hopes to one day be in a big film and be a superstar. One day, while Tommy is performing in a theatre, a young aspiring actor, much like Tommy, named Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) watches him, and is in awe of his confidence. Together, the two of them team up to create a film titled The Room, which would eventually go on be to labeled as one of the worst films ever made.
Being the massive film fan that I am, I had seen The Room before, and like everybody else, I thought it was absolutely atrocious. Everything about it was bad – the acting, the camera work, the script, the story, the characters, etc. I was hoping the same would not be the case for The Disaster Artist, James Franco’s attempt at adapting Sestero’s novel The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. Luckily, this film in considerably better in literally every single way.
Franco portrays Wiseau fabulously. If you have read the novel or watched some of the interviews with him, you probably know that Wiseau is an interesting man. His accent is bizarre, he never tells anybody his age, where he is from, or how he got six million dollars to make The Room. Franco adds all these little details into The Disaster Artist that further enhances his portrayal of Wiseau.
Also great in the film is James Franco’s real life brother Dave Franco, who portrays Greg Sestero. In real life, Sestero was an actor who portrayed Mark in Wiseau’s film The Room. Franco does an excellent job portraying Sestero – a man who desperately wants to get an acting job, much like his friend Wiseau. However, while the two are making The Room, Sestero has severe doubts about the overall quality of the film during the course of its long production.
It is also a really funny film, and benefits from a great screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. Franco was able to input some extremely clever jokes in many of the film’s scenes, and it helped make the film more enjoyable.
The Disaster Artist is additionally an exceptionally emotional film, as well. We feel so bad for Wiseau throughout the film, as all he wants to do in his life is make one single film that can be a big success, but, it seems like it will never happen. Franco was able to portray a more sympathetic Wiseau greatly.
At times, the film can feel a bit too long, and almost as if Franco was attempting to get maybe just a bit too much laughter from the audience at times. If the film was maybe twenty minutes shorter, it would have definitely improved.
The Disaster Artist is a greatly humorous film with good performances, developed characters, and an emotional story at its centre about friendship.
Overall Grade: A-
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity
Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie
Directed by: James Franco
Distributed by: A24 (United States), Warner Bros. (International)
Running Time: 103 minutes